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Singing through the jungle

July 8, 2011
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Today’s student bloggers: Betsy, Bob, Robert, Rachel, and James

For our journal we chose to find songs that highlight our day:

Previous night’s song: “I Love Rock and Roll” and “ Bar Tender”

Before dinner was served, James sat in and played guitar with the musicians as others danced.

James sits in with the band

James plays with the band

Late evening song: Take the Photo Off the Wall”

Phil Whittman treated us to a presentation, which included incredible macro images, about insects in the forest .

Morning song: “Free to Be You and Me”

Folks chose from a variety of activities such as birding by boat, reading in the hammock, sleeping in, drawing in the journal.

Mid-morning song: “Reunion”

We visited a sugar cane factory where Cesar squeezes the juice out of sugar cane with a ancient press powered by horses. The cane juice gets made into molasses and rum. Mary Ann brought Cesar a photo from when she met him many years ago.

Mid-day song: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

We took a ride on an enclosed boat to the Napo River to the ExplorNapo Lodge.

Early afternoon song: “We’ve Got the Funk”

We hiked from ExplorNapo to the ACTS lodge, sweating all the way. The hour-long hike took us further into the jungle to the location of the Canopy Walkway and our home for two nights.

Mid-afternoon song: “The ants go marching one by one”

We walked to the canopy walkway, trying to avoid lots of different kinds of ants.

Afternoon song: “Hey, What’s that sound?”

Mary Ann on walkway

Mary Ann on walkway

We climbed up the canopy walkway, crossing the swinging walkways from platform to platform. The canopy walkway is a series of platforms connected by suspended paths constructed with steel cables, nylon rope and webbing. You actually walk on ladders lying parallel to the ground with planks mounted on them to provide a level surface. The ropes and webbing on the side provide handholds and safety. While up there we heard lots of different kids of sounds made by birds, insects and frogs.

Early evening song:  yet to be determined….

We learned about the rainforest layers and canopy leaves. We each got a set of 10-15 leaves to trace on graph paper to help with part of Meg’s research. After making accurate tracings, we had to count how many square centimeters of each leaf was present and then estimate the amount of each leaf that had been eaten by insects.

Late evening song: “There’s a fungus among us”

We walked a short way up the trail to see bioluminescent fungus. It was on small leaves that had fallen from a specific tree. When we turned our head lamps off, the ground looked like the night sky covered with glowing stars.

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